Taking It to the Streets

Time for some plein speaking: This is the last day to see the 2010 Denver Plein Air Festival Exhibition, a show of pieces produced during the largest urban plein air event in the country. The Golden Triangle Museum District came up with the concept four years ago as a way to participate in Denver Arts Week, and this year more than 130 artists registered for the Denver Plein Air Arts Festival, setting up impromptu studios in the great outdoors of downtown Denver, creating a piece in a day – or less. The artworks that resulted from this month-long marathon went to a jury, which selected the pieces now featured in the exhibit on the seventh floor of the Denver Public Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Fittingly, the award for Best of Show went to Siobhan Keleher, who works at the DPL and took a series of photographs on her cell phone.

“At the exhibit, you see the State Capitol and other buildings that are recognizable right away, but there are also little vignettes that you wouldn’t think an artist would see as something to paint,” says Robin Riddel Lima, director of the GTMD. You won't be able to see them for long, though: When the library closes at 6 p.m. today (it’s closed altogether on December 31), all of the pieces will come down and either be returned to their creator or held for the people who purchased them. Artists collect 60 percent of the sale price; the rest goes to the GTMD, which will use the proceeds to fund the 2011 Denver Plein Air Arts Festival. So you can expect artists to take it to the streets again next summer; in the meantime, go to http://gtmd.org for more information. — Patricia Calhoun
Nov. 10-Dec. 30, 2010

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun